St. Jude Anglican

The name of this church is St. Jude’s Anglican Church. It celebrated 130 years anniversary on Sunday, 11th January, 2015. It is the main church of the St. Jude’s Parish which also comprises Church of the Annunciation in Santa Rosa Heights and St. Boniface Anglican Church in Brazil Village.

From The Trinidad Guardian: July 1, 2015

St Jude in the community

For many Anglicans in Arima, the St Jude Church on King Street has been a symbol of hope, spirituality and community.

The building structure itself is also a part of the old world charm of an Arima of yesteryear, which is rapidly disappearing as old structures are destroyed to make way for new.

“Our aim is to preserve this building,” said a church committee member.

Three churches comprise the St Jude Parish of the T&T Anglican Church:

The St Jude Church at 5 King St, Arima;

The Church of the Annunciation at Santa Rosa Heights (where the building is shared by both Roman Catholic and Anglican congregations);

And the St Boniface Church in Brazil Village.

Open since 1885, the St Jude Church has been involved in many outreach activities over the decades, from founding the East’s very first secondary school, to running cricket tournaments, concerts and even a Penny Bank programme to encourage thrift and savings.

The St Jude Church played a historic role in East Trinidad education, say its members.

In 1927, Reverend Merry opened Arima’s first secondary school, the St Jude’s College, to educate boys in the community so they wouldn’t have to travel all the way to Port-of-Spain to attend schools like St Mary’s or QRC.

At that time, St Jude’s College was the only institution providing secondary education in Arima and the general area, said a member of the church’s restoration project committee, adding: “The college produced a legacy of good citizens, scholars, footballers, and versatile young men, who later held prominent positions in business, the public service and who served our country well.”

The St Jude Church’s community involvement includes helping the disadvantaged, as well as, more recently, organising a few family social activities.

Through a modest but caring outreach programme, an estimated 50 needy people each month receive meals or food hampers thanks to the church.

Beneficiaries include incapacitated and housebound people, children from a local orphanage, and homeless people from the streets.

On the lighter side, one of the most popular recent activities has been an annual cricket tournament, launched last year, for all Anglican churches in the North-Eastern region: “a wonderful day,” recalled a participant, who said family and friends not only enjoyed the friendly cricket but also enjoyed the snacks of corn soup, pelau, and pineapple chow.

Leaky shingles

The old church building itself is now definitely feeling its age. The 130-year-old, steep, gable roof is leaking, shingles desperately need to be replaced, and there are other repairs which should be done, say worshippers.

Anglican Bishop Claude Berkeley had previously called on church members to be the building blocks of the church, recalled a church member. Worshippers responded by forming the Renaissance Committee for church conservation.

The St Jude Anglican Church Restoration Project began in January 2013 under the guidance of (now deceased) Fr Jeff Elder, whose job has since been taken over by Canon Francis Caesar.

The church proudly stands “as originally designed, with its beautiful stained glass windows. It is a testament to those who went before and worked to maintain it.

Very little has changed, and one feels on entering that you are stepping back in time,” said a release from the church concert committee.

It added: “It is one of the very few examples of an era past—and not torn down to be replaced by modern structures.

Arima has largely lost its old-world charm due to the demolition of many landmarks. The parishioners of St Jude are determined to preserve this piece of Arima’s history.”

End of Guardian story

The college was located near to the church. Prominent students included Irvin Brathwaite, Rex Edwards, Vincent Edwards (elder brother of Julia Edwards). If anyone knows the family of these persons we may be able to get some more details.